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August 23, 2016

14th August 2016 - Important Current Affairs updates

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National Affairs
  • The India Nuclear Insurance Pool (INIP), managed by GIC Re, has unveiled the Nuclear Suppliers’ Insurance Policy for ‘Right to Recourse’
    • The policy was unveiled by Atomic Energy Commission chairman Sekhar Basu in Mumbai. 
    • New India Assurance Company has volunteered to issue the policy and administer the claims as and when notified, said Alice Vaidyan, CMD, GIC Re.
  • The Union Government has launched the first phase of Smart Ganga City programme in 10 cities located along River Ganga.
    • Those 10 Cities are, 
      • Haridwar, Rishikesh, Mathura, Varanasi, Kanpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Patna, Sahibganj and Barrackpore.
    • The first phase of programme was jointly launched by the Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti.
  • India’s first ever BIO-CNG plant producing CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) from agricultural residue was inaugurated in Pune, Maharashtra. 
    • It was jointly inaugurated by Union Minister of Transport Nitin Gadkari and Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Recent Committees in News
  • The Union Government has constituted a National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) to develop the pan-India road map for trade facilitation. 
    • It has been constituted in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO’s) Trade Facilitation Agreement (FTA), which India also has ratified. 
    • This Committee will be headed by : Pradeep Kumar Sinha (Cabinet Secretary of India).

Business & Economy

  • Putting an end to a 92-year-old tradition of the colonial era, the Railway Budget will be merged with the General Budget from 2017-18 onwards.
    • The move will come as a relief to the national transporter, which, until now, has been reeling under an additional burden of Rs 40,000 crore from higher salaries, following implementation of the 7th Pay Commission.
    • If the merger goes through, the Railways will get rid of the annual dividend it has to pay for gross budgetary support from the government.
  • India’s first facility to produce Nickel was launched by the Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) at its Indian Copper Complex (ICC) at Ghatshila in Jharkhand
    • The new facility “Nickel, Copper and Acid Recovery Plant” will be first facility in India to produce nickel metal of London Metal Exchange (LME) grade from primary resource.
  • After Punjab National Bank and the United Bank of India, more banks are likely to start a facility wherein an account holder can electronically verify his Income Tax Returns (ITR) without having a netbanking account, the Central Board of Direct Taxes has announced today. 
    • Note : This e-verification facility was used by over 75.3 lakh taxpayers till August 5.

New Appointments
  • Justice Manjula Chellur has been selected as the new Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court
    • She is going to replace CJ Dhirendra Hiralal Waghela who retires on August 24, 2016. 
    • Important Note : She will be second woman Chief Justice of the Bombay HC, after Sujata Manohar in 1994.

  • Eminent poet and lyricist Na Muthukumar (41) passed away.
    • He was known for his critically acclaimed literary work and Tamil film songs. 
    • He had won two national awards for his lyrics “Anandha Yazhai Meetukirazh” in “Thanga Meenkazh” and “Azhagae Azhagae” in “Saivam”.
  • Actor Kenny Baker (81), who played the character 'R2-D2' in the first six films of the 'Star Wars' franchise passed away.
    • The actor, who was 3 ft 8 in (112 cm) tall, starred in other films including 'Flash Gordon', 'Labyrinth' and 'The Elephant Man'.
  • Pramukh Swami (95), the founder of Akshardham temples and a saint of the Swaminarayan sect, passed away.
    • He was the president of the Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS), a sub-sect of the Swaminarayan sect, which during his tenure expanded globally, with over 3000 temples built in five decades worldwide.
  • Denmark won its first Olympic swimming gold in 68 years, with Danish swimmer Pernille Blume’s victory in the women’s 50-metre freestyle event.
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